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Why Do Some People Use Chopsticks?

An interesting question was recently posted on another site: Why do some people use chopsticks when forks and spoons are available?

Chopsticks are definitely not a recent invention. They have been in use by the Chinese at least since 1200 years before Jesus was born. By a few hundred years AD, chopsticks were in use throughout Asia.

They were useful, too. Using long chopsticks, a person could take foods out of boiling water or oil without burning themselves. In fact, they originated as cooking utensils rather than eating utensils.

Chopsticks are still used by well over a billion people, mostly in Asia and including Asians that immigrated elsewhere. A person who is adept in the use of chopsticks can deftly eat anything from rice to meat using the eating utensils.

None of this answers the question, of course. The answer is really simple. People tend to use what they are used to. If a person spent their lives eating food with chopsticks, they are likely to be far more comfortable with using chopsticks than using a fork or spoon, so they are more likely to use chopsticks if they can.

Quite a few Asians also wonder why anyone would use a fork or spoon if a perfectly good set of chopsticks were available. The answer is the same, in reverse. If a person is used to using a fork and a spoon and has never or seldom used chopsticks, they are much more apt to use a fork and a spoon.

It doesn’t make either way “right” or “wrong”. If it suits a person’s needs, no justification is necessary.

  • Do you ever use chopsticks to eat with?

    • Yes, frequently
    • Yes, but not often
    • Rarely or never
    • I don’t know how to use chopsticks

What do you think?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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8 Comments

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    • I usually only use chopsticks when I go to a real Asian restaurant, which is infrequently at best. However, I roll with whatever is available. I’m just as eating fried chicken with my fingers, though some people are shocked by people doing that.

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